As a community, we are very good at masking and keeping a safe distance to reduce risk from germs. And just like we have highly effective therapies to treat CF, we now have highly effective vaccines to protect our kids from COVID-19.
Because my husband has cystic fibrosis, I take extra precautions to protect him from COVID-19 exposure. That is why I can’t continue to have relationships with friends and family who refuse to get vaccines or wear masks. They are putting my husband -- and others like him -- at risk.
Because I am immunocompromised after having a lung transplant, I still take extra precautions with COVID-19. I still feel awkward with turning down invitations and limiting my own guest list at gatherings, but I know my closest family and friends understand and do whatever they can to accommodate me.
What I thought was a cold turned out to be COVID. I shared my positive test result with my CF care team. Not only did they let me know of an important drug that was available to reduce the risk of getting severe symptoms, but they also helped me find it since the drug was in short supply.
I’ve had to make many changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to protect my health. Not all the changes were welcome, but now that I’ve adjusted, I’m enjoying my new normal.
In my experience, the best way to support a loved one with cystic fibrosis is to listen closely and remember the details of his or her most common treatments and complaints.
Although I don’t consider having a chronic illness like cystic fibrosis a good thing, I accept it and I think others should, too.
As some people's pandemic fears subside and businesses start to reopen in parts of the U.S., people with cystic fibrosis like me are maintaining their social distance. We still need to be extra cautious because of the threat COVID-19 poses to people with an underlying condition.
Deciding what activities are safe enough for my family has been daunting during this pandemic. But with CF, I'm reminded that I've been doing this for years and I'm grateful for a tool to help me think through my decisions and make the best choices for my family.
Thanks to COVID-19, a work furlough forced me to slow down the pace of my life and I'm okay with that. Here's how I've let go of needing to be productive during this time.